Mar 30, 2021 - Economy

Economists: Steep CO2 cuts are worth the cost

Reproduced from the Institute for Policy Integrity at the NYU School of Law; Chart: Axios Visuals

The vast majority of economists with expertise in climate change agree that the benefits of deep emissions cuts outweigh the costs, a survey shows.

Why it matters: Researchers at the left-leaning Institute for Policy Integrity at the NYU School of Law said they believe their new research is the "largest-ever expert survey on the economics of climate change."

Where it stands: The chart above shows one of the findings in the survey of responses from 738 economists who have published on climate in highly ranked journals. A few more...

  • 74% of economists surveyed agree that "immediate and drastic action" is needed.
  • 76% agree it's likely or extremely likely that climate change will affect the growth rate of the global economy in the long term.
  • 70% say it's likely or extremely likely that climate change will worsen economic inequality within most countries.

Yes, but: An obvious question is whether it's a biased sample, given that economists who publish on climate tend to support acting on the problem.

However, the report says respondents were "representative of a wide range of opinions, based on the diverse and often conflicting arguments made in their published articles."

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